Past perfect tense
- PDF worksheets with answers
- Online exercises
- Grammar rules PDF
English grammar books PDF
PDF book 1: English grammar exercises PDF
PDF book 2: English grammar rules PDF
Past perfect tense exercises + PDF worksheets
PDF exercises with answers to download for free:
- I had lived in Paris before I moved to London.
- When we landed in Barcelona, we had been sailing for a week.
- Practise the difference between simple and continuous forms.
- Past simple: Sam left his office at 4.30.
- Past perfect: Sam had left his office before I came.
- It had been finished when we arrived.
- The past perfect tense compared with other English tenses.
Online exercises with answers:
Test 1: Complete the sentences with the verbs in brackets.
Test 2: Rewrite the sentences and keep the same meaning.
Past simple + past perfect tense exercise 2 Join two sentences in one.
Past simple + past perfect tense exercise 3 Rewrite sentences.
Past simple + past perfect tense exercise 4 Make short dialogues.
Past simple + past perfect tense exercise 5 Tereza's story about her trip to Vermont.
Past simple + past perfect tense exercise 6 Carol got lost. Complete her story.
Past tenses + past perfect tense exercise 7 A multiple choice quiz.
Grammar rules PDF:
Past perfect tense rules PDF The past perfect simple and past perfect continuous tense.
English tenses PDF Grammar rules on all English tenses.
English grammar PDF All PDF rules on e-grammar.org.
Past perfect tense
We use the past perfect tense:
- To talk about actions that ended before a point in time in the past (the simple).
- To talk about actions that were in progress before a point in time in the past (the continuous).
Past perfect simple tense
The past perfect simple describes actions that were completed before:
a) A point in time in the past.
I had left my suitcase on the 10.15 train to Bristol.
Lara had learned to speak Spanish by the time she was eleven.
b) Another event in the past.
We had left before the party started.
Harry met Sally on his holiday in Poland. He had last seen her a year before.
The man died because a car had hit him on the road.
Past perfect continuous tense
We use the past perfect continuous to refer to activities that:
a) Started before a point in time and were still continuing at that point.
At 6 p.m. I had been sitting in my office for ten hours.
We had been waiting for our plane since the morning when Josh appeared.
b) Started before a point in time and just finished at that point.
When the boat landed, they had been sailing for a week.
When I got back home, I was soaked to the skin because it had been raining all the way.
We can sometimes use both the past perfect simple and continuous and there is practically no difference in meaning (with verbs expressing long lasting activities, such as live, stay work, sleep).
I had worked there for a year when I decided to quit the job.
I had been working there for a year when I decided to quit the job.